To get you in the mood I'm happy to be able to share with you a short extract below.
This is the story of a girl who lived but was not alive…
Carrie Anne is desperately unhappy. Tangled in a web of abuse, she seeks solace in the cemetery that backs onto her garden. But something creeps between the gravestones. Carrie Anne is not alone…
…and a boy who was dead, but could not die.
The cemetery is home to a boy. He has guarded these forgotten bones since meeting a gruesome end two hundred years ago. Neither dead nor alive, he has been watching for a long time. And now, he finally has the visitor he’s been waiting for…
The boy had to push branches to one side as he approached. It was as if the trees themselves were trying to deter him from his path. The boy could not be deterred and the scratching of the trees was nothing to the pain that fate had already inflicted upon him. He reached out, pulling the ivy from the door. The plant resisted but was torn aside nonetheless. The wind blew harder and the trees shook harder as the boy pushed at the creaking doors. They opened with no resistance. As the boy took his steps into the tomb the wind howled.. It sounded like a mother crying.
The tomb itself had an instant chill to it. There was moonlight seeping in from holes in the ceiling, giving the stone a grey misery. In the centre of the tomb, a stone coffin lay broken and open. It seemed that the boy was not the first to come looking for treasure. He was surprised at how fate had led him to the tomb only for his curiosity to be rewarded with disappointment. At the moment the boy turned to leave, the shadow flowed from the corner and gripped the boy, holding him in the air. The darkest of things holding the boy was at one time a man. That same-said time had ravaged the creature of its flesh. Clearly it was dead, yet it stood straight holding the boy; its eyes had long gone, but it stared at the boy through empty sockets. The sight before the boy was so far beyond the world he knew, that all fear was replaced with awe.
The dead man moved with the grace of dried twigs and leaves. It was barefooted and dressed in shredded rags. It was bald save for a few strands. When it spoke it sounded like urn ashes blowing on a storm.
“Boy? Why you here, boy?” it asked. The boy answered clear and true; he had no fear of this ragged beast. He had seen the death of a loved one and the death a hated parent. There were no horrors in the entire world or the next that could compare.
“I came for your secrets; the dead have no need of such things,” he said with defiance.
“Don’t we? Do I look dead to you, boy?”
“Yes, although this is not a true death. I have seen a true death.”
The dead creature laughed a rotten laugh, its breath a rancid stench. It slowly lowered the boy to his feet, before kneeling with a creak before him.
“Are you not scared, boy?” it asked.
The boy wondered if he should be and searched his inner soul for even a hint, curious he felt no fear at all.
“No, I feel nothing.”
“Why?” the dead man wanted to know.
“I have lost everything. There is nothing more that would cause me more upset.”
“How?” the creature wished to know.
“The Consumption took my mother’s mind and I watched as the river took her body. My father taught me how to search for the dead’s treasures. But I found only an undead thing. Like my father’s life, his teachings amounted to naught.”
The dead man pondered the reply. Its fleshless face wrinkled as if trying to understand. The dead man seemed to reach a decision. And it spoke. “Are you alone, boy?”
“And you want my secrets, boy? Do you truly want my secrets and will you accept them as they are?”
“Yes,” the boy replied without hesitation.
“Then take them, boy; I have been this way for more years than there are worms in the ground. It is time to finally rest.”
And the dead man opened its mouth so wide its jaws snapped and from the maw came a green gas. It found the boy and entered his mouth and nostrils and eyes. The boy tried to cough but the gas found its way deeper into his lungs. And when the boy’s eyes stopped watering, the dead man had gone, replaced by rags decomposing on the tomb floor. The boy, to his dismay, realised no breath left his lips or heart pumped in his chest. He looked at his thin pale arms and the veins had turned black. For now they held the secrets of the dead. All that was left to do for the boy was to scream and scream and scream.
From THE BOY IN THE CEMETERY, which is only £0.99 for a limited time on Amazon, Apple and other retailers.
THE ASYLUM OF FAIRY TALE CREATURES is free for a limited time on Amazon, Apple and other retailers.
THE GRUESOME ADVENTURES OF ALICE IN UNDEADLAND is £0.99 for a limited time on Amazon, Apple and other retailers.
Look out for A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY, coming in December.